As a flight attendant, you spend an unusually large amount of time on your feet, whether you're criss-crossing a major airport, distributing in-flight meals, or making announcements to passengers. When you throw high altitude into the mix, which can contribute to swelling and pain, achy feet and legs seem par for the course for flight attendants. Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent leg and foot pain, even during long-haul flights. Here are six tips for taking care of your feet and legs as a flight attendant:
Buy Compression Stockings or Socks
Wearing compression stockings offers many benefits for flight attendants. By providing gentle compression to your legs and feet they help prevent swelling and even reduce fatigue, allowing your feet and legs to feel more comfortable and less sore and tired. Compression stockings and socks come in a wide variety of colors and styles, including many shades of neutrals, so that you can find a perfect match for your uniform color requirements.
Stretch as Much as Possible
Stretching your whole body, but especially your legs, feet, and ankles, will prevent a lot of discomfort and fatigue. When you have a few minutes alone in the back of the cabin, do some gentle stretching exercises to get the blood flowing through your legs and feet. When you get home or to your hotel during a layover, dedicate some time to yoga or slow, deep stretches to help ease tension in your muscles and decrease pain.
Getting a massage in between flights is always a good idea, but finding a massage therapist who specializes in reflexology (a type of foot and leg massage) is even better. Your reflexology massage therapist will expertly work on areas of pain and tension until your feet and legs feel blissful rather than achy and stiff. Since reflexology is a form of alternative medicine, it can often be combined with acupuncture for more dramatic benefits.
Invest in Great Shoes
Wearing the right shoes is paramount when you are on your feet for long periods of time as a flight attendant. Choose shoes that fit well, are flat or have a low, sturdy heel, and that have plenty of cushion. These days, comfortable shoes come in attractive styles so you can look your best without sacrificing comfort or hurting your feet. It's a great idea to buy your crew shoes in person so that you can have your feet measured and try them on before you buy.
Airline-specific shoe companies even make stylish, comfortable shoes that are specifically designed to be safe and functional on flights and at the airport.
Go for a Stroll
Getting up and walking around helps get your blood pumping, which prevents swelling and discomfort. Walking the aisle to check on your passengers instead of sitting during a lull in service and meals is a great way to prevent leg pain. Going for a walk around the airport or in the neighborhood around your hotel during layovers helps keep your circulation flowing in between flights and is an easy way to get exercise as well.
It's very easy to get dehydrated during flights thanks to dry cabin air and high altitude. If you make an effort to drink plenty of water before, after, and during your flights, you will not only remain more alert and energetic, but your feet and legs will be more comfortable. Dehydration can contribute to sore legs and feet and even cause them to cramp painfully, so staying hydrated is an easy preventative measure.
By following these tips, you will be giving your hard-working feet and legs the TLC they need and ensuring more comfortable flights for yourself.